Woodrow, YMCA Team for Youth Government Models

Community Contribution

With the assistance of the YMCA at White Rock, the inaugural Woodrow Wilson Youth and Government Team had an impressive run at a conference held at the Texas Capitol in Austin during late January.

Participants included sophomores Miranda Bernal, Sergio Garza, Graeme Hamilton, Sage Laughlin, and Ilana Smirin. Smirin and Laughlin made it to the second round with their proposal advocating Internet censorship.

Hamilton, Garza and Bernal participated in the print media section of the competition and had two articles printed. The team learned about the workings of state government and gained valuable experience in research, cooperation, and presenting in front of a large audience of their peers.

Model United Nations
The YMCA also helped transition the Woodrow Wilson Youth and Government program into the Model United Nations program March 17-20 at a conference held in Minneapolis.

Woodrow participants included junior Frances Desmond, and sophomores Garza, Hamilton, and Ilana Smirin as representatives of the nation of Brazil. The team was led by AP world history teacher William Arevalo.

Hamilton was involved in the International Court of Justice as presiding judge over international disputes and argued a case against the United States’ tariff policies. Smirin served as a representative of the Administrative Committee, pushing through important proposals that benefitted Brazil and was the team ambassador. Desmond served on the Economic and Financial Committee and convinced other nations to support her position on bio-diversity in a unanimous 29-0 vote. Garza served on the senior Security Council and debated issues dealing with espionage, war games. and hostage negotiation.

Organizers at the conference were impressed with the leadership shown by the Woodrow students and the team demonstrated excellent team work, cooperation, negotiation, persuasion, compromise, and research skills. They also gained immeasurable knowledge about international relations.

Arevalo and Carol Whitsitt, from the YMCA, hope to grow the program next year to teach students the importance of global issues and create international mindedness in Woodrow students.

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